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Electronic Structure and Periodic Table

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Electronic structure
Orbital structure of hydrogen atom, principal quantum number n, number of
electrons per orbital
In the Bohr model, the hydrogen electron orbits the nucleus.
In quantum mechanics, hydrogen electron exists in a spherical probability
cloud around the nucleus.
The principle quantum number, n, defines what shell the electron is in.
n values start from one: 1,2,3 ...etc.
Higher n shells are higher in energy (if subshells are the same).
There are n squared orbitals per shell.
There are 2 electrons per orbital.
Thus, there are 2n^2 electrons per shell.
Ground state, excited states
Electrons are normally in their ground state.
When they absorb energy, they get promoted to excited states.
Excited states are higher in energy than ground states.
Excited states come back down to the ground state via release of energy.
Absorption and emission spectra
The absorption spectrum shows what wavelengths of light are absorbed.
The absorption spectrum looks like black lines on a rainbow background.
The emission spectrum shows what wavelengths of light are emitted.
The emission spectrum looks like colored lines on a black background.
The absorption spectrum corresponds to the emission spectrum in pattern.
The emission spectrum shifts to a slightly longer wavelength.
Quantum numbers l, m, s, and number of quantum states (electrons) per orbital
l is the angular momentum quantum number: l are integers that range from 0
to n-1.
spdf: l=0,1,2,3 for s,p,d,f respectively.
spdf designates subshells.
s subshells hold 1 orbital. p holds 3, d holds 5, f holds 7.
each orbital holds a maximum of 2 electrons.
s subshells hold a maximum of 1x2=2 electrons, p: 3x2=6, d: 5x2=10,
f: 7x2=14.
A generalized formula for the above pattern: for any subshell, 4l+2
electrons can be held.
for a given shell, higher subshells have higher energy.
a low shell with a high subshell may be higher in energy than a higher
shell with a low subshell.
m is the magnetic quantum number: m are integers that range from -l to l,
including zero.
s is the spin quantum number: s is either +1/2 or -1/2.

s is the spin quantum number: s is either +1/2 or -1/2.

Common names and geometric shapes for orbitals s, p, d

Electrons are filled by occupying the lowest energy subshells first.

Subshell arranged in increasing energy: 1s, 2s, 2p, 3s, 3p, 4s, 3d, 4p, 5s, 4d,
5p, 6s, 4f, 5d, 6p, 7s, 5f, 6d
The best way to memorize the above is by interpreting the periodic
table:

Starting from the first row, going across, both hydrogen and helium is
1s. Next row: 2s then 2p. Third row: 3s then 3p. Fourth row: 4s, 3d,
then 4p. Fifth row: 5s, 4d, then 5p. Sixth row: 6s, 4f, 5d, then 6p. Last
row: 7s, 5f, then 6d. The pattern we get from looking at the periodic
table is exactly in the order of increasing energy.
For a given subshell, the columns represent how many electrons are in
that subshell. For example, the fifth column of the d subshells contain
elements that have 5 electrons in that subshell.
The number of columns for each subshell indicate the maximum
number of electrons that subshell can hold. For example, the d subshells
have 10 columns showing that d orbitals can hold 10 electrons total.
Conventional notation for electronic structure

Conventional notation:

Orbital diagrams:
Aufbau principle: shells / subshells of lower energy gets filled first (This is
the most obvious rule. For example, 1s fills first, then 2s, then 2p ...etc.
Review the exact order of energies because later on, the d subshells get filled
after the s.
Hund's rule: when you fill a subshell with more than 1 orbital (p, d, f), you
first fill each orbital with a single electron and with the same spin (check out
electrons 5, 6, and 7 in the orbital diagram, which fills according to Hund's
rule). The reason for Hund's rule is that electron-electron repulsion in doubly
occupied orbitals make them higher in energy than singly occupied orbitals.
Pauli exclusion principle: 2 electrons in the same orbital must be of different
spins (for example, check out electrons 5 and 8 in the orbital diagram).
Watch out for d4 and d9 elements. Instead of s2d4, it's s1d5 and s1d10 because
they want to achieve a half-full or full d subshell.
Bohr atom
Electron orbiting the nucleus in a circular orbit.
Larger n values have larger orbiting radii.
...more on Bohr in chemistry
Effective nuclear charge
Effective nuclear charge = nuclear charge - shielding electrons.
Shielding electrons are those that stand between the nucleus and the electron
we are interested in.
Shielding electrons are those that are in subshells closer to the nucleus (lower
in energy) than the electron we are interested in.
MCAT questions usually give you a diagram of the Bohr model, in which
case, shielding electrons are those that orbits at a smaller radius.
The higher the effective nuclear charge for an electron, the more stable it is
(higher ionization energy, not easily knocked off).

(higher ionization energy, not easily knocked off).

Effective nuclear charge increases for outer electrons as you go across (left to
right) the periodic table.

The periodic table: classification of elements into groups

by electronic structure; physical and chemical
properties of elements

Alkali metals
Single valence electron - low ionization energy, very reactive.
Wants to lose that electron to achieve empty valence shell.
More reactive as you go down because of increasing radii.
Reacts with oxygen to form oxides.
Reacts with water to form hydroxides and releases hydrogen.
Reacts with acids to form salts and releases hydrogen.
Most commonly found in the +1 oxidation state.
Alkaline earth metals
2 valence electrons - relatively low in ionization energy, quite reactive.
Wants to lose both electrons to achieve empty valence shell.
More reactive as you go down because of increasing radii.
Reacts with oxygen to form oxides.
Reacts with water to form hydroxides and releases hydrogen.
Reacts with acids to form salts and releases hydrogen.
Most commonly found in the +2 oxidation state.
Halogens
7 valence electrons (2 from s subshell and 5 from p subshell) - high electron
affinity, very reactive.
Wants to gain one electron to achieve full valence shell.
More reactive as you go up because of decreasing radii.
Reacts with alkali metals and alkaline earth metals to form salts.
Most commonly found in the -1 oxidation state.
Noble gases
Full valence shell of 8 - high ionization energy couple with low electron
affinity.
Don't react.
Found in the oxidation state of 0.
Transition metals
High conductivity due to free flowing (loosely bound) outer d electrons.
In the presence of ligands (when in a chemical complex), the d orbitals
become nondegenerate (different in energy).
Electron transitions between nondegenerate d orbitals gives transition metal
complexes vivid colors.
Varied oxidation states - but always +.
Representative elements

Representative elements
Representative elements include the s block and the p block of the periodic
table.
No free flowing (loosely bound) outer d electrons.
Valence shell fills from left (1 electron) to right (8 electrons).
Standard nomenclature from left to right: I A, II A, III A, IV A, V A, VI A,
VII A, VIII A.
Metals and non-metals
Metals are to the left of metalloids.
Non-metals are to the right of metalloids.
Metalloids: diagonal line from Boron to Polonium: B, Si, As, Te, Ge, Sb,
(Po).
Chemical properties
Metals

Non-metals
Likes to gain electrons to form a Likes to lose electrons to gain a +
oxidation state (good oxidizing
oxidation state (good reducing agent).
agent).
Lower electronegativity - partially
Higher electronegativity - partially
positive in a covalent bond with non- negative in a covalent bond with
metal.
metal.
Forms basic oxides.
Forms acidic oxides.
Physical properties
Poor conductor of heat and
Good conductor of heat and electricity
electricity
Malleable, ductile, luster, solid at
Solid, liquid, or gas at room temp.
room temp(except Hg)
Brittle if solid and without luster.
Oxygen group
The group (column) that contains oxygen.
Oxygen and sulfur chemically similar (if a question asks you what element
you can substitute for oxygen and still keep the same chemical reactivity, then
choose sulfur).
Se - Te - Po = non-metal - metalloid - metal (or metalloid).

The periodic table: variations of chemical properties

with group and row
Electronic structure ...a repeat of electronic structure section above
representative elements
Representative elements include the s block and the p block of the
periodic table.
No free flowing (loosely bound) outer d electrons.
Valence shell fills from left (1 electron) to right (8 electrons).
Standard nomenclature from left to right: I A, II A, III A, IV A, V A,
VI A, VII A, VIII A.
noble gases
Full valence shell of 8 - high ionization energy couple with low
electron affinity.
Don't react.
Found in the oxidation state of 0.
transition metals
High conductivity due to free flowing (loosely bound) outer d electrons.
In the presence of ligands (when in a chemical complex), the d orbitals

In the presence of ligands (when in a chemical complex), the d orbitals

become nondegenerate (different in energy).
Electron transitions between nondegenerate d orbitals gives transition
metal complexes vivid colors.
Varied oxidation states - but always +.
Valence electrons
Electrons in the outer shell.
Ranges from 1 to 8 from left to right of the representative elements.
The valence electron rule does not apply to transition metals.
First and second ionization energies
definition of first ionization energy: The energy needed to knock off the first
valence electron.
definition of second ionization energy: The energy needed to knock off the
second valence electron.
prediction from electronic structure for elements in different groups or rows

Ionization energy decreases as you go down because of increasing radii.

Ionization energy increases as you go right because of decreasing radii.
Highest peaks are noble gases.
Lowest troughs are alkali metals.
Local maxima occurs for filled subshells and half-filled p subshells.
Second ionization energy is always higher than the first ionization
energy (usually a lot higher).
Alkali metals and hydrogen: first ionization energy very low. Second
ionization much higher.
Alkaline earth metals: first ionization energy low. Second ionization
energy also low.
Electron affinity
definition - electron affinity is the amount of energy released when something
gains an electron (how easily it can gain an electron).

gains an electron (how easily it can gain an electron).

variation with group and row

As you go down a group, electron affinity decreases because of larger

As you go across (left to right) a row, electron affinity increases.
Highest peaks are for the halogens.
Lowest for noble gases.
Local minima occurs for filled subshells and half-filled p subshells.
Electronegativity
definition - electronegativity is how much something hordes electrons in a
covalent bond.
comparative values for some representative elements and important groups
Electronegativity increases toward the top right.
Fluorine is the most electronegative element.
Things around fluorine are highly electronegative: N, O, F, Cl, Br.
Halogens are electronegative, especially toward the top of the group.
Noble gases can be very electronegative if they participate in bond
formation (Kr and Xe).
Non-metals are more electronegative than metals.
Covalent bond is a sharing of electrons between elements.
The more electronegative element in a covalent bond gets a larger share
of the electrons and has a partial negative charge
The less electronegative (more electropositive) element in a covalent
bond gets a smaller share of the electrons and has a partial positive
charge.
If the electronegativity difference is too great, an ionic bond occurs
instead of a covalent one.
Ionic bonds result from a complete transfer of electrons from the
electropositive element to the electronegative element.
Electron shells and the sizes of atoms
Electron shells
Electron shells are defined by the principle quantum number - the n
value.
Going down the periodic table means jumping to the next shell.
As you fill to the next shell (Ne to Na), the effective nuclear charge
decreases because the old shell stands in between the nucleus and the
new shell.
Filling to the next shell causes a jump in atom size because of
decreased effective nuclear charge.
As you go down a group (Na to K), the atomic size increases even

As you go down a group (Na to K), the atomic size increases even
though the effective nuclear charge stays the same, because higher
shells have a larger radius than lower shells.
Going across the periodic table means filling up the same shell (by
going through subshells).
As you fill up a shell, the effective nuclear charge increases because the
atomic number (protons) is increasing while the same-shell electrons
you add do not shield one another.
With increasing effective nuclear charge, the electrostatic attraction
(F=kQq/r^2) between the nucleus and the electrons increases, so the
atom becomes more compact.
The increasing effective nuclear charge and electrostatic attraction is
why going across a periodic table means decreasing atomic size.
Sizes of atoms

Size increases as you go down a column.

Size decreases as you go across (to the right of) a row.
Atomic sizes may overlap if you zigzag on the periodic table.
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The ionic bond (electrostatic forces between ions)

The ionic bond forms when electrons transfer completely from one atom to another,
resulting in oppositely charge species that attract each other via electrostatic
interaction.
Electrostatic energy q1q2/r
Electrostatic Energy = Electrostatic potential x charge = kq1/r x q2 = kq1q2/r
Electrostatic energy is negative because q1 and q2 are opposite in charge (If q1
and q2 are not opposite in charge, then they would repel each other, and no ionic
bond would form).
Frequently, the negative sign is dropped and only the magnitude of the
electrostatic energy is used.
The greater the magnitude of electrostatic potential, the stronger the ionic bond.
Strong ionic bonds are promoted by high charge magnitudes (q values) that are
close together (small r value).
Ions that form strong ionic bonds have high charge density, that is, the charge to
size ratio is high.
Electrostatic energy lattice energy
Lattice energy measures the ionic bond strength.
Lattice energy is the energy required to break the ionic bond.
The larger magnitude of the lattice energy, the stronger the ionic bond and the
harder it is to break.
The lattice energy is proportional to the electrostatic attraction between the ions.
Electrostatic force q1q2/r2
Coulomb's law: F = kq1q2/r2
Larger charge magnitudes + charges being closer together greater
electrostatic force.
The Coulomb's constant, k, is 9E9.
Opposite charges attract (negative F), same charges repel (positive F).
If q1 doubles, the electrostatic force doubles.
If r halves, the electrostatic force increase by a factor of 22 = 4.
Coulomb's law is analogous to the universal law of gravitation:
F = Gm1m2/r2
G is analogous to k and m is analogous to q.
The big difference is that G is tiny compared to k, because gravitational
force is weaker compared to the much stronger electrostatic force.

The covalent bond

The covalent bond results when there is a sharing of electrons between two atoms,

The covalent bond results when there is a sharing of electrons between two atoms,
resulting in the overlap of their electron orbitals.

sigma and pi bonds

bonds are single bonds. They also make up the first bond of double and triple bonds.
bonds are double and triple bonds. They make up the second bond in a double bond,
and both the second and the third bond in a triple bond.

Hybrid orbitals are produced by hybridizing (mixing) electron orbitals to produce

geometries that facilitate bonding.
Sp3: a hybrid between one s with 3 p orbitals. Tetrahedral in geometry. Contains
single bonds only.
Sp2: a hybrid between one s with 2 p orbitals. Trigonal planar in geometry. Contains a
double bond.
Sp: a hybrid between one s with one p orbital. Linear in geometry. Contains a triple
bond.
Hybrid orbitals are most commonly used with carbon as the center atom.

valence shell electron pair repulsion and the prediction of shapes of

molecules (e.g., NH3, H2O, CO2)

In short, it is the VSEPR theory.

The VSEPR theory is used to predict the geometry of molecules.
The shapes of molecules are determined by the molecular geometry.
Radicals also count as an electron pair.
The VSEPR number is the total number of bonds + unbonded electron pairs.
When calculating the VSEPR number, always use the electron/bond configuration
about the central atom.
NH3 has a vsepr number of 4 (3 bonds to H and 1 unbonded pair). If you look up the
table for VSEPR # = 4 and # unbonded electron pairs = 1, then you'll find that NH3 is
trigonal pyramidal.
H2O has 2 bonds, 2 unbonded electron pairs - it is bent.
CO2 has 2 double bonds and 0 unbonded electron pairs - it is linear.

Lewis electron dot formulas

Every dot represents 1 electron. Every line represents 1 bond (2 electrons). A "lone
pair" is represented by two dots.
Formulas are drawn in such a way that an octet is achieved on each atom. Exceptions
include the boron column (they form 3 bonds and have a six-tet), large elements (3rd
row and below such as the 10-tet P in PO43- and the 12-tet S in SO42-), and radicals
(compounds with an odd # total electrons that result in a single, unpaired electron).
All electrons in a bond are shared and can be used to satisfy the octet for both atoms
on either side of the bond.
Rules of thumb for Lewis structures
Carbon: 4 bonds total (meaning 4 total bonds. It can either be 4 single bonds or

Carbon: 4 bonds total (meaning 4 total bonds. It can either be 4 single bonds or
two double bonds ...etc) and no lone pairs. eg. CH4, CO2
Oxygen: O can be
O: 2 bonds total, 2 lone pairs. eg. H2O, O2
O1-: 1 bond, 3 lone pairs, formal charge of -1.
O1+: 3 bonds, 1 lone pair, formal charge of +1.
Nitrogen: N can be
N: 3 bonds total, 1 lone pair. eg. Amine or ammonia NH3
N+: 4 bonds, 0 lone pair, formal charge of +1. eg. Ammonium NH4+
Halogens: 1 bond, 3 lone pairs. eg. CCl4
Hydrogen: 1 bond, 0 lone pair (exception to octet rule).
Carbocation: C+ has 3 bonds, no lone pairs, formal charge +1.
Carbanion: C- has 3 bonds, 1 lone pair, formal charge -1.
Boron: 3 bonds, 0 lone pairs (exception to the octet rule). eg. BH3
Common Lewis structures
Hydrogen Lewis structures
Hydrogen Proton:
Hydride ion:
Boron Lewis structures

Borane:

Borohydride ion:
Carbon Lewis structures

Methane:

Carbocation:

Carbanion:
Nitrogen Lewis structures

Amine / Ammonia:

Amine / Ammonia:

Ammonium:
Imine:
Oxygen Lewis structures
Molecular oxygen:
Water, alcohol, and ethers:

Ozone:
Halogen Lewis structures
Hydrogen fluoride:
Chloromethane:
Bromide ion:
R in the figures are either carbon or hydrogen.
Lewis structures for elements in the same column (group) of the periodic table are
similar to one another. For example, sulfur can be substituted for oxygen in lewis
structures of oxygen.

resonance structures

When there are more than 1 satisfactory Lewis structures for a molecule, they are
called resonance structures.
You can visualize the molecule "shifts" between each of its resonance structure really
fast, spending more time in the more stable resonance structures. Or more accurately,
the structure of the molecule is a "combination" of its resonance structures, taking on
more character from the most stable resonance structures. Eg. The bond length of a
molecule that has both a single and a double bond resonance structure is intermediate
between a single bond and a double bond.
The molecule spends most of its time in the most stable resonance structure.

Stable properties:
Octet rule is satisfied in every atom (except for boron group and hydrogen).
No formal charges.
If there must be formal charges, like charges are apart and unlike charges are
close together.

formal charge
Formal charge = valence electron # in the unbonded atom - electron # in the bonded
atom.
Electron # in the bonded atom = dots around the atom + lines connected to the atom.
The dots around the atom represent electrons that are held entirely by the atom.
The lines connected to the atom represent bonding electron pairs, in which the atom
only gets one of the two electrons.
Formal charges (other than 0) must be labeled next to the atom with the formal charge.
Common formal charges:
Oxygen with only a single bond: -1.
Oxygen with no bond but have an octet: -2. (Oxygen usually exists as the
diatomic O2 and have a double bond to themselves)
Carbon with only 3 bonds: either +1 if carbocation or -1 if carbanion.
Nitrogen with 4 bonds: +1.
Halogen with no bonds, but have an octet: -1. (Halogens usually exist as a
diatomic and have a single bond to themselves such as Cl2)
Boron with 4 bonds: -1. eg. BH4-

Lewis acids and bases

Lewis acid accept electron pairs. They don't have lone pairs on the central atom. eg.
BF3
Lewis bases donate electron pairs. They have lone pairs on their central atom. eg. NH3

Partial ionic character

Covalent bonds between atoms with dissimilar electronegativities have a partial ionic
character.
role of electronegativity in determining charge distribution
The more electronegative atom receives a partial negative charge.
The less electronegative atom receives a partial positive charge.
dipole moment
Molecules with asymmetrical partial charge distribution have a dipole moment.
eg. H2O has a dipole moment because the molecule is bent and the oxygen-side
of the molecule is partially negative.
Dipole moment depends on charge and distance.
The greater electronegativity difference, the greater the charge and hence
the dipole moment.
The greater the distance separating the charges, the greater the dipole
moment.
Molecules with symmetrical partial charge distribution do not have dipole
moments. eg. CCl4 do not have a dipole moment because the partially negative
chlorine atoms are arranged symmetrically in a tetrahedron. The symmetry
cancels out their individual dipole moments.
Things with a dipole moment are said to be polar.
Are the individual bonds in CCl4 polar? Ans: yes.
Is the entire molecule CCl4 polar? Ans: no.

Is the entire molecule CCl4 polar? Ans: no.

Old topics
The topics below are outdated. They have been either modified or replaced by the most
recent aamc publication.
E = kQ1Q2/d
Energy = Electrostatic potential x charge = kQ1/d x Q2 = kQ1Q2/d
E is negative because Q1 and Q2 are opposite in charge.
The more negative E is, the stronger the ionic bond.
Strong ionic bonds are promoted by high charge magnitudes (Q values) that are
close together (small d value).
E = lattice energy
The name used for E is the lattice energy, and it measures the ionic bond
strength.
Lattice energy is the energy required to break the ionic bond.
The larger magnitude of the lattice energy, the stronger the ionic bond and the
harder it is to break.
Force attraction = R(n+e)(n-e)/d^2
The above equation describes the force of attraction between the cation n+ and
the anion n- at a distance d apart.
R is Coulomb's constant (usually written as k).
n+e = charge of cation in coulombs = positive charge (n+) times coulombs per
electron (e).
n-e = charge of anion in coulombs = negative charge (n-) times coulombs per
electron (e).
The elementary charge or coulombs per electron (e) is 1.6E-19, but you don't
have to memorize it. The MCAT will give it to you.
The Coulomb's constant is 9E9.
The official Coulomb's law states: F = kQ1Q2/r2
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Gas phase
Absolute temperature, K scale
K C F
Absolute zero
0 -273 -460
Freezing point of water / melting point of ice 273 0
32
Room temperature
298 25 77
Body temperature
310 37 99
Boiling point of water / condensation of steam 373 100 212
K = C + 273
F = C x 1.8 + 32

Pressure, simple mercury barometer

Pressure is the force exerted over an area: P = F/A
Due to gravity, the atmosphere exerts a pressure of 101 kPa at sea level. For
convenience, 101 kPa = 1 atm.
Pressure decreases at higher elevations.
The mercury barometer measures atmospheric pressure by allowing the
atmospheric pressure to "push" on a column of mercury.
The barometer is open at one end and closed off (vacuum) at the other.
The atmosphere "pushes" at the open end, which results in the mercury rising up
in the closed end.
The measured atmospheric pressure P = F/A. F is the weight of the mercury that
got pushed up and A is the cross-section area of the column that the mercury got
pushed through.
Standard mercury barometers are calibrated such that 1 atm of pressure will
push the mercury up by 760 mm. For convenience, mm Hg is also called the
Torr. So, you don't have to do the P=F/A calculation to find out the pressure
reading from a barometer. Just know that 1 atm = 760 mm Hg = 760 torr.
1 atm = 101 kPa = 101,000 Pa = 760 mm Hg = 760 Torr.
When performing P = F/A calculations, make sure that F is in Newtons, A is in
meter squared and the resulting P will be in Pascals. You can then convert the
Pascals to whatever units the answer choices are in.

Molar volume at 0 degrees Celsius and 1 atm = 22.4 L/mol

You must memorize this: ideal gases occupy 22.4 L per mol of molecules.
Do not get this mixed up - it is 22.4 liters per mole, not the other way around.
The way to remember this is that the mol is a huge number - 6.02E23 molecules.
These gazillions of molecules occupy a lot of space - 22.4 L to be exact.
Another way you can remember this is to look at the periodic table: Air is made
up mostly of nitrogen, which has an atomic mass of 14. In the diatomic form, N2
weighs 14x2 = 28 grams per mol. Now, air is really light. In order for you to
grab 28 grams of air, you need more than just a bottle of air, you need a huge
tank totaling 22.4 L.

Ideal gas
definition
An ideal gas consists of pointy dots moving about randomly and colliding
with one another and with the container wall. The ideal gas obeys the
kinetic molecular theory of gases and has the following properties.
Random molecular motion.
No intermolecular forces.
No (negligible) molecular volume.
Perfectly elastic collisions (conservation of total kinetic energy).
You can treat gases as ideal gases at:
Low pressures
High temperatures
Deviation from the ideal occurs at high pressure and low temperature. At
these conditions, the gas molecules are "squished" together. When the gas
molecules are so close together, they experience intermolecular
interactions. Also, the molecular volume becomes significant when the
total volume is squished down so much. The intermolecular attractions
will cause collisions to be sticky and inelastic. At the extremely high
pressures and low temperatures, gases cease to be gases at all - they
condense into liquids.
Ideal gases behave according to the ideal gas law.
ideal gas law PV=nRT, where P is pressure, V is volume, n is # mols of gas, R is
the gas constant, and T is temperature.
Combined gas law:
Because nR is constant (n is the # mols and R is the gas constant),
PV/T must also be constant.
Boyle's law and Charles' law can all be derived from the combined
gas law.

Charles' law: at constant pressure,

Charle's law extrapolates to absolute zero, where volume also goes to zero
(this is only an extrapolation).
Avogadro's law: Equal volumes of two gases will also contain equal
number of mols of each gas (given ideal conditions: ideal gas at STP).
PV = nRT
R is constant, and at STP, pressure and temperature is also constant.
V/n = RT/P
If you plug in STP values, you'll end up with V/n = 22.4 L/mol.
All ideal gases at STP will occupy 22.4 L per mol of gas molecules.

Kinetic molecular theory of gases

The ideal gas laws can be derived from the kinetic theory of gases.
The kinetic theory holds the following assumptions
Random molecular motion.
No intermolecular forces.
No (negligible) molecular volume.
Perfectly elastic collisions (conservation of total kinetic energy).
The kinetic theory holds the following concepts:
Pressure of a gas is due to its molecules constantly colliding with the
walls of its container.
Pressure is equally distributed over the walls of the container because
molecular motion is random.
Temperature is a measure of the average kinetic energy of the gas
molecules.
Higher temperature means the molecules are traveling faster, lower
temperatures means slower molecules.
Diffusion and Effusion
Diffusion: random molecular motion, causing a substance to move from
an area of higher concentration to an area of lower concentration
(diffusion down its concentration gradient).

(diffusion down its concentration gradient).

Effusion: random molecular motion, causing a substance to escape a
container through a very small openning.
Graham's Law (applies both to diffusion and effusion for the purposes of
the MCAT).
Rate1/
M2
Rate2 = /M1
Rate = rate of diffusion or effusion. M = molecular weight of gas
molecule.
A possible question on the MCAT is two gasses diffuse down a
tube from opposite ends. Where will the gases meet? The gist of
this is that the lighter gas will travel faster, and the gases will meet
at a point that is farther from the end of the lighter gas.
Graham's Law is derived from the Kinetic theory
Temperature = average kinetic energy
At a given temperature all gases have the same kinetic energy.
m1v12 = m2v22
m1v12 = m2v22
v12/ 2 = m2/
v2
m1
v1/ = m2/
v2
m1

Deviation of real-gas behavior from ideal gas law

qualitative
When molecules are far apart (under conditions of low P, high T), they are
ideal.
When molecules are brought close together (higher P, lower T), they
experience intermolecular attraction.
When molecules are brought so close together that they clash into one
another, they experience steric repulsion.
quantitative (Van der Waals' equation)

b for bounce. The term with the constant b is the repulsion term. The
greater b is, the more repulsion, which leads to greater pressure.
a for attraction. The term with the constant a is the attraction term. The
greater a is, the more attraction, which leads to less pressure.

Partial pressure, mole fraction

Partial pressure = a component of the total pressure exerted by a species in a gas
mixture.
The total pressure of a mixture of gas = The sum of all the partial pressures.
Mole fraction = a component (fraction) of the total # mols that belongs to a
species in a gas mixture.
Mole fraction for species A = # mols of A / # mols of the entire gas mixture. = #
mols of A / # mols of A, B, C ...

mols of A / # mols of A, B, C ...

Dalton's law relates partial pressure to mole fraction.

Dalton's law relating partial pressure to composition

Pi = iPtotal
Ptotal = Pi = iPtotal
Ptotal is total pressure.
Pi is partial pressure of species i.
i is the mole fraction of species i.

Hydrogen bonding

Hydrogen bonding is a weak interaction between a partially positive H and a

partially negative atom.
Technically, hydrogen bonds are a special type of dipole-dipole interaction.
Hydrogen bonding increases the boiling point.
Partially positive H are also called hydrogen bond donors. They are hydrogens
that are bonded to either F, O, or N.
Partially negative atoms are also called hydrogen bond acceptors. They are most
commonly F, O, or N.
Do ethers form hydrogen bonds with other ethers? Ans: no, because ethers do
not have a partially positive H (donor).
The more polar a bond is, the stronger the hydrogen bond. The H-F bond is the
most polar, followed by the H-O bond, and lastly the H-N bond.

Dipole interactions

All polar molecules exhibit dipole-dipole interactions. This is where the polar
molecules align such that opposites attract.
Dipole-dipole interactions increase the boiling point, though not as significantly
as hydrogen bonding.
Dipole interactions are stronger the more polar the molecule is.
Ion-dipole interactions are similar to dipole-dipole interactions, but it's stronger
because it is no longer an interaction involving just partial charges. Instead, it is
an interaction between a full charge (ion) and a partial charge (dipole).
Ion-dipole interactions get stronger when you have larger charge magnitude of
the ion, and large polarity of the dipole molecule.

Van der Waals' forces (London dispersion forces)

Also called dispersion forces.
Dispersion forces exists for all molecules, but are only significant for non-polar
molecules. For polar molecules, dipole forces are predominant.
Dispersion forces result from induced and instantaneous dipoles.
Induced dipoles: when a polar molecule interacts with a non-polar molecule,
then polar molecule induces a dipole in the non-polar molecule.
Instantaneous dipoles: Non-polar molecules have randomly fluctuating dipoles
that tend to align with one another from one instant to the next.
Dispersion forces get stronger for larger molecules. For example, decane
(C10H22)has a stronger dispersion force than ethane (C2H6).

Phase equilibria
Phase changes and phase diagrams

Solid: atoms/molecules vibrate about a fixed position. Hard to compress. Does

not flow to fill a container.

not flow to fill a container.

Liquid: atoms/molecules move about, but are close together and bound by
intermolecular forces. Hard to compress. Flows to fill a container.
Gas: atoms/molecules fly about far apart from one another and do not
experience intermolecular forces. Easy to compress. Flows to fill a container.
Solid-liquid boundary: solid and liquid exist in equilibrium.
Solid-gas boundary: solid and gas exist in equilibrium.
Liquid-gas boundary: liquid and gas exist in equilibrium.
Triple point: the temperature and pressure at which all three phases of matter
coexist in an equilibrium.
Critical point: the temperature and pressure at which liquids and gases become
indistinguishable.
Critical temperature: the temperature above which you can no longer get a liquid
no matter how much pressure you press on it.
Water phase diagram is different from others because the solid-liquid boundary
is slanted to the left. This is because water (liquid) is more dense than ice
(solid), and if you increase the pressure at a given temperature, then you turn ice
into water.
Mnemonic for remembering which section of the phase diagram is for gases:
"gas comes out this way."

Freezing point, melting point, boiling point, condensation point

Freezing point: temperature (at a given pressure) that liquids begins to freeze
into a solid.
Melting point: temperature (at a given pressure) that a solid begins to melt into a
liquid.
Boiling point: temperature (at a given pressure) that a liquid begins to turn into a
gas.
Condensation point: temperature (at a given pressure) that a gas begins to
condense into a liquid.
Freezing point and melting point are the same, they can both be found along the
solid-liquid phase boundary.
Boiling point and condensation point are the same, they can be found along the
liquid-gas boundary.
Sublimation: conversion of a solid directly into a gas. Conditions for
sublimation can be found along the solid-gas boundary.

Molality
Molality is a measure of the concentration of solutes in a solution.
Molality is given the symbol m (don't confuse the small case m with the large
case M that is molarity)
Molality = mols of solute / mass (in kg) of solvent.
Compare molality (mol solute/kg solvent) to molarity (mol solute/L solution).

Colligative properties
Colligative properties = properties that depend on the # of solute particles, but
not on the type.
Solute particles in solution likes to keep the solution in liquid phase. This is why
it makes it harder to boil (raises its boiling point) and also makes it harder to
freeze (lowers the freezing point). Lowering the vapor pressure is just another
fancy name for raising the boiling point.

fancy name for raising the boiling point.

Van't Hoff Factor (i): all colligative properties take into consideration of the
Van't Hoff factor. Basically, it means convert concentration to reflect the total
number of particles in solution. For example, glucose has i of 1 because it
doesn't break up in solution. NaCl has i of 2, because in solution, it breaks up
into 2 particles Na+ and Cl-.
vapor pressure lowering (Raoult's law)
P = solventPsolvent
P = solutePsolvent
P is the vapor pressure.
P is the decrease in vapor pressure.
solute = mol fraction of the solute = # mols of solute / # total mols
of both solute and solvent
solvent = mol fraction of the solvent = # mols of solvent / # total
mols of both solute and solvent
Psolvent is the vapor pressure of the pure solvent alone.
When you are calculating solute, make sure you take into account
of van't Hoff. ie. 1 mols of NaCl in solution is actually 2 mols of
particles.
boiling point elevation (deltaTb = kb*m *i)
Tb = kbmi
Tb is the increase in boiling point.
kb is the molal boiling point constant (like almost every other
constants, the MCAT will give it to you).
m is the molality (mol solute/kg solvent).
i is van't Hoff factor.
freezing point depression (deltaTf = -kf*m *i)
Tf = -kfmi
Tf is the decrease in freezing point (the negative sign shows that
the change is a decrease).
kf is the molal freezing point constant.
m is the molality (mol solute/kg solvent).
i is van't Hoff factor.
osmotic pressure
= MRT *i
is the osmotic pressure.
M is the molarity in mol/L.
R is ideal gas constant.
T is the temperature in K.
Osmotic pressure determines whether and in what direction osmosis
will occur.
Osmosis is the movement of solvent across a semi-permeable
membrane from an area of low solute concentration (high solvent
concentration) to an area of high solute concentration (low solvent
concentration).
Solvent will move from an area with low value to an area with
high value.

Colloids
Solution: things are mixed at the molecular level and will always stay mixed.

Solution: things are mixed at the molecular level and will always stay mixed.
When you use the term dissolve, you are making a solution.
Colloids: things are mixed at a "semi-molecular level" with solute aggregates
that are really really tiny. Colloids will stay mixed until you centrifuge it.
Suspension: things are mixed at a particle level and will NOT stay mixed.
The famous colloid example is milk. Also, when you shake water and oil
vigorously, you can get an emulsion, which is a colloid.

Henry's Law
Psolute = k [solute]
Psolute is the partial pressure of the solute at the solution's surface.
k is a constant.
[solute] is the solute concentration in solution.
The partial pressure of a solute just above the solution's surface is directly
proportional to its concentration.
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Molecular weight
Molecular weight is numerically equal to molecular mass (amu)
1 amu = 1 g/mol
12Carbon has 12 amu and weighs 12 g/mol

Empirical formula versus molecular formula

molecular structure molecular formula empirical formula

C6H12O6

CH2O

empirical formula is what you get after dividing everything in the molecular formula by the
highest common factor.

Metric units commonly used in the context of chemistry

Molarity = M = mol/L
molality = m = mol/kg
mass = kg. molar mass = g/mol.

Description of composition by % mass

%mass = mass of species of interest / total mass * 100

Mole concept; Avogadro's number

1 mole = 1 mol = 1 Avogadro's number = 6.02E23 molecules

Definition of density
density = mass / volume = kg/m3

density = mass / volume = kg/m3

often in chemistry, specific gravity is used.
specific gravity = number of times the density of water = density of substance / density of
water
density of water = 1 g/mL = 1 g/cm3
specific gravity of water = 1 g/cm3 / 1 g/cm3 = 1
density of lead = 11 g/cm3
specific gravity of lead = 11 g/cm3 / 1 g/cm3 = 11
specific gravity is unitless

Oxidation number
common oxidizing and reducing agents
oxidizing agents
Oxygen O2, Ozone O3, Permanganates
-,

MnO4 Chromates CrO4

2-,

Dichromates

2-,

reducing agents
Hydrogen H2, metals (such as K), Zn/HCl,
Sn/HCl, LAH (Lithium Aluminium Hydride),
NaBH4 (Sodium Borohydride), lewis bases,
stuff with a lot of hydrogens

Cr2O7 peroxides H2O2, lewis acids,

stuff with a lot of oxygens
disproportionation reactions
An element in a single oxidation state reacts to form 2 different oxidation states.
Disproportionation can occur when a species undergo both oxidation and reduction.
For example: 2Cu+ Cu + Cu2+
Here, the Cu+ acts as both oxidizing and reducing agent and simultaneously
reduce and oxidize itself.
The oxidized Cu+ becomes Cu2+
The reduced Cu+ becomes Cu
redox titration
Some terms and concepts
A = analyte = stuff with the unknown concentration that you want to find out
by titration.
Aox = analyte that is an oxidizing agent = analyte in its oxidized state.
Ared = analyte that is a reducing agent = analyte in its reduced state.
T = titrant = stuff that you add drip by drip to determine how much of it is
needed to complete the titration.
Tox = titrant that is an oxidizing agent = titrant in its oxidized state.
Tred = titrant that is a reducing agent = titrant in its reduced state.
S = standard = something with an accurately known amount or concentration.
You use it in a reaction that accurately (stoichiometrically) produces a known
amount or concentration of I2.
Sox = standard that is an oxidizing agent = standard in its oxidized state.
Sred = standard that is a reducing agent = standard in its reduced state.
X = reactions intermediate = a species that is not present in the net equation of
the overall reaction.
Xox = intermediate that is an oxidizing agent = intermediate in its oxidized
state.
Xred = intermediate that is a reducing agent = intermediate in its reduced state.
Iodimetric titration:
Ared + I2 Aox + 2IIodometric titration:
1) Aox + 2I- Ared + I2
2) Tred + I2 Tox + 2IUsing a standard

Iodimetric titration with standard:

1) Sox + 2I- Sred + I2
2) Ared + I2 Aox + 2Inotes: step 1 makes sure that the I2 produced is of accurate
amount/concentration by the use of the standard.
Iodometric titration with standard:
1) Sox + Xred Sred + Xox
2) Xox + Ared(limiting reagent) Xred + Aox
3) Xox(left over) + 2I- Xred + I2
4) I2 + Tred 2I- + Tox
notes:
step 1 makes an intermediate of accurately known amount.
step 2: the analyte eating up an unknown, but calculatable, amount
of the intermediate.
step 3: the remaining intermediate going on to make I2
step 4: Here, you will find out how much T is needed to eat up all
the I2 produced from step 3. From this, you'll know the amount of
Xox(left over). You also can calculate the amount of Xox originally
produced by the standard. Thus Xox - Xox(left over) = the amount
of analyte. Important note: this is usually not a simple subtraction
because you need to take stochiometric ratios into consideration.
Iodine is used in redox titrations because in the presence of starch, I2 is dark blue
while I- is colorless.
You can only accurately titrate something going from dark to colorless ( I2 2I-),
but not the otherway round.
A redox titration does not necessarily need the presence of Iodine. As long as some
type of color change can be seen at the equivalence point of the redox reaction, then it
will work. For example:
5 H2O2 + 6 H+ + 2 MnO4- 5 O2 + 2 Mn2+ + 8 H2O
Goes from purple to colorless because of MnO4- Mn2+ transition.
Redox titrations are similar to acid-base titrations, except instead of measuring pH,
you look for a color change.
Practice question:
1) Sox + 5Xred 3Sred + 3Xox
2) 3Xox + Ared(limiting reagent) 3Xred + Aox
3) Xox(left over) + 2I- 2Xred + I2
4) I2 + 2Tred 2I- + Tox
after a long time doing drip by drip titration, you finally saw the dark color change to
colorless. You noted down the initial and final volume reading of your pippette to be
300 mL and 200 mL, respectively. The concentration of the titrant you used was 10
M. You dissolved 1/2 mols of the standard to begin with. How much analyte was
there?
First, convert everything to mols (amount). n = MV. For the titrant (Tred) it is
10 M x (0.3 L - 0.2 L) = 1 mol
For the standard (Sox), it is already given to you in mols. However, if it's not,
you have to convert it to mols.
We know from the notes above that Xox - Xox(left over) = the amount of
analyte, after taking into account of stochiometric ratios.
Here are the stochiometric ratios:
From step 4

From step 4
I2 : 2Tred
From step 3
Xox(left over) : I2
From step 2
3Xox : Ared(limiting reagent)
From step 1
Sox : 3Xox
Xox = 0.5 mol Sox * 3Xox / Sox = 1.5 mol Xox
Xox(left over) = 1 mol Tred * I2 / 2Tred * Xox(left over) / I2 = 0.5 mol Xox(left
over)
For every Ared(limiting reagent), you eat up 3 Xox, thus:
Xox - 3Ared(limiting reagent) = Xox(left over)
1.5 - 3 * Ared(limiting reagent) = 0.5
Ared(limiting reagent) = 1/3 mol
This is why you always look at the stoichiometry of the reaction in
calculations. It's almost never a simple addition or subtraction.
The reaction in the question is actually a real redox titration taken from
wikipedia.

Description of reactions by chemical equations

conventions for writing chemical equations

Phases
(s) = solid
(l) = liquid
(g) = gas
(aq) = aqueous (dissolved in water)
Coefficient
an equation with coefficients is a balanced equation.
Direction
A single head arrow denotes the reaction goes to completion in the direction of
the arrow.
A double-sided arrow denotes a reaction in equilibrium.
A double-sided arrow with one side larger than the other denotes an
equilibrium in favor of the side of the larger arrow.
Charge
Denotes charge and magnitude, for example +, -, 2+, 5- ...etc.
Neutral charges are not denoted.
balancing equations, including oxidation-reduction equations
balance the combustion of propanol: C3H8O + O2 CO2 + H2O
pick out the atom (or group) that is the easiest to balance (usually represented in only
1 term on both side of the equation. In this case it is carbon.
C3H8O + O2 3CO2 + H2O
The next easiest to balance is hydrogen
C3H8O + O2 3CO2 + 4H2O
Leave the hardest to last, oxygen. O is present in every term of the equation, so if we
tried to balance O first, we'd be having a hard time. However, now that we balanced
every other term, this leaves only one term left that contains O and that we haven't
balanced yet. Do a quick count of oxygen atoms: there's 1 from C3H8O, 3x2 from

balanced yet. Do a quick count of oxygen atoms: there's 1 from C3H8O, 3x2 from
3CO2, and 4x1 from 4H2O. Set up this equation: 1 + 2x = 3x2 + 4x1, where x would
be the coefficient of our last term, O2. Solve for x
C3H8O + 9/2O2 3CO2 + 4H2O
Even though we balanced out every term, we're not done yet. We need to get rid of
any fractions, so multiply every term by 2.
2C3H8O + 9O2 6CO2 + 8H2O
Balancing oxidation-reduction (redox) equations
1. Separate into half reactions.
There will be 2 half equations: one will be oxidation, the other reduction.
Half equations contain only species of interest - those containing the
atom that undergoes a change in oxidation state.
Anything that is not covalently attached to the atom is not part of the
species of interest.
Anything that does not undergo a change in oxidation state is a spectator
ion/species.
2. Balance each of the half reactions.
Balance both charge and atoms.
To balance one oxygen atom:
Under acidic conditions: add H2O to the side that needs the oxygen
atom, then add H+ to the other side.
Under basic conditions: add 2OH- to the side that needs the
oxygen atom, then add H2O to the other side.
The Ion-Electron Method: you balance out the atoms first, then charge.
The Oxidation-State Method: treat the species of interest as a single atom
(those that undergo a change in oxidation number) and then balance it.
3. Recombine the half reactions.
Multiply each half reaction by a factor, such that when you add them
together, the electrons cancel out.
It's like you're trying to solve a simultaneous equation and you want to
eliminate the electron term.
4. Finishing touches
Combine any idendical species on the same side of the equation.
Cancel out any identical species on opposite sides of the equation.
Add back in the spectator ions.
For the oxidation-state method, now is also the time to balance out the
oxygens and hydrogens.
Check to make sure that both sides of the equation have equal number of
atoms and neutral net charge.
Example using ion-electron method: K2Cr2O7 (aq) + HCl (aq) KCl (aq) + CrCl3
(aq) + H2O (l) + Cl2 (g)
1. Separate into half reactions.
Reduction: Cr2O72- Cr3+
Oxidation: Cl- Cl2
Species of interest for the oxidation reaction is Cl-, not HCl, because the
H+ is not covalently attached to our atom of interest, and the hydrogen
proton breaks off in aqueous solution.
Similarly, we use Cr2O72- and not K2Cr2O7
K+ is the spectator ion.
2. Balance each of the half reactions.
The Ion-Electron Method: you balance out the atoms first, then charge.
Balancing atoms for the reduction half reaction (Ion-electron
method):
1. Cr2O72- Cr3+
2. Cr2O72- 2Cr3+

2. Cr2O72- 2Cr3+
3. Cr2O72- + 14 H+ 2Cr3+ + 7H2O
Balancing charge for the reduction half reaction (Ion-electron
method):
1. Cr2O72- + 14 H+ + 6e- 2Cr3+ + 7H2O
Do the same thing for the oxidation half reaction (Ion-electron
method):
1. Cl- Cl2
2. 2Cl- Cl2
3. 2Cl- Cl2 + 2e3. Recombine the half reactions.
Cr2O72- + 14 H+ + 6e- 2Cr3+ + 7H2O
2Cl- Cl2 + 2eMultiply everything in the second equation by 3
6Cl- 3Cl2 + 6eAdd the two equations together
Cr2O72- + 14 H+ + 6e- + 6Cl- 2Cr3+ + 7H2O + 3Cl2 + 6e4. Finishing touches
Except for the electrons, there are no like terms to combine or cancel at
this time...
Cr2O72- + 14 H+ + 6Cl- 2Cr3+ + 7H2O + 3Cl2
For the ion-electron method, the equation is already balanced at this
stage of the game. However, you need to add back in the spectator ions.
When adding back the spectator ions, what ever you do to the left side,
you do to the right.
To the left side: The dichromate came in counter-ioned with K+, so add
2 K+.
To the right side: What ever you do to the left side, you do the same to
the right side.
K2Cr2O7 + 14 H+ + 6Cl- 2Cr3+ + 7H2O + 3Cl2 + 2K+
Referring back to the original equation, the Hs and Cls on the left came
in as HCl, so in order to balance the extra 14 - 6 = 8 Hs, you add 8 Cls.
As always, if you add 8 Cls to the left, go ahead and add the same to the
right.
K2Cr2O7 + 14 HCl 2Cr3+ + 7H2O + 3Cl2 + 2K+ + 8ClWe're done focusing on the left side. A quick look at the right side shows
that we need to combine 2 of the Cl- with the 2 K+, and the remaining 6
Cl- goes with the Cr. Thus the final balanced redox equation is:
K2Cr2O7 (aq) + 14 HCl (aq) 2CrCl3 (aq)+ 7H2O (l) + 3Cl2 (g) +
2KCl (aq)
Example using oxidation-state method: K2Cr2O7 (aq) + HCl (aq) KCl (aq) +
CrCl3 (aq) + H2O (l) + Cl2 (g)
1. Separate into half reactions (same as the ion-electron method).
Reduction: Cr2O72- Cr3+
Oxidation: Cl- Cl2
2. Balance each of the half reactions.
The Oxidation-State Method: you focus on the atom of interest.
Balancing the atom of interest for the reduction half reaction
(Oxidation-state method):
1. Cr2O72- Cr3+
2. Cr2O72- 2Cr3+
Each oxygen is 2- so the 2 Cr on the left must be 6+

3. Each oxygen is 2- so the 2 Cr on the left must be 6+

4. 2Cr6+ 2Cr3+
Balancing charge for the atom of interest in the reduction half
reaction (Oxidation-state method):
1. 2Cr6+ + 6e- 2Cr3+
Do the same thing for the oxidation half reaction (Oxidation-state
method):
1. Cl- Cl2
2. 2Cl- Cl2
3. 2Cl- 2Cl0
4. 2Cl- 2Cl0 + 2e3. Recombine the half reactions.
2Cr6+ + 6e- 2Cr3+
2Cl- 2Cl0 + 2eMultiply everything in the second equation by 3:
2Cr6+ + 6e- 2Cr3+
6Cl- 6Cl0 + 6eadd the two equations together
2Cr6+ + 6e- + 6Cl- 2Cr3+ + 6Cl0 + 6e4. Finishing touches
Except for the electrons, there are no like terms to combine or cancel at
this time...
2Cr6+ + 6Cl- 2Cr3+ + 6Cl0
Convert the atoms of interest into species of interest by referring back to
the original equation.
K2Cr2O7 + 6HCl 2CrCl3 + 3Cl2
Now unlike the ion-electron method, where the equation is balanced and
you only at back spectator ions at this stage of the game, the oxidationstate method requires you to balance the equation again. This is because
after you convert the atoms of interest back to their species of interest,
the equation is no longer balanced.
Start with the oxygens. On the left you have 7 O, so add 7 H2O to the
right.
K2Cr2O7 + 6HCl 2CrCl3 + 3Cl2 + 7H2O
Now take care of the hydrogens. You have 6H on the left, but 14H on the
right. That means you should add 8 more Hs to the left to make a total of
14. All 14 Hs on the left should be in the form of HCl (refer back to the
original equation. Note, HCl here is both the species of interest and also
the spectator species. Some of the HCl contributes to the Cl- Cl2
oxidation, but the other portion of the HCl doesn't undergo redox. It
merely provides the H+ for the water and the Cl- for the KCl and CrCl3).
K2Cr2O7 + 14HCl 2CrCl3 + 3Cl2 + 7H2O
Now you see there's 14 Cl to the left, and 12 Cl to the right. You need 2
more Cls on the right. Referring back to the original equation, all the
right-sided Cls come in the form of KCl (don't modify the Cl2 since
you've already correctly balanced it by the oxidation state method. When
balancing equations at this stage, only play around with water and the
spectator species).
K2Cr2O7 + 14HCl 2CrCl3 + 3Cl2 + 7H2O + 2KCl
Upon examination of the equation, every atom is balanced. So the final
balanced redox equation is:
K2Cr2O7 (aq) + 14HCl (aq) 2CrCl3 (aq) + 3Cl2 (g) + 7H2O (l) +
2KCl (aq)

2KCl (aq)
limiting reactants
Limiting reactant is the reactant that will get all used up first.
What is the limiting reactant for the following reaction?
3Xox + Ared 3Xred + Aox
Given: You use 60 grams of Xox and 63 grams of Ared
Given: the molecular weight of Xox is 2 amu, and Ared is 7 amu.
The first thing you do is convert everything in moles. 1 amu = 1 g/mol.
Xox: 60 g / 2 amu = 30 mols.
Ared: 63 g / 7 amu = 9 mols.
Now here's where stoichiometry comes in: divide the mols by the
stoichiometric coefficient of the species:
30 mols / 3 = 10 for Xox
9 mols / 1 = 9 for Ared
Now compare the values. 9 is the smallest, so Ared is the limiting reactant.
Limiting reactant can also be called the limiting reagent, limiting species,
limiting [whatever].
theoretical yields
The theoretical yield is what how much of the product will be made based on
stoichiometry.
In calculating the theoretical yield, first find out what your limiting reactant is. Then,
use your limiting reactant as the stoichiometric basis to calculate how much product
you will get.
In real life, the experimental yield is always less than the theoretical yield because of
loss during steps of the reaction (now you can have a higher experimental yield if
you're in a chem lab and you accidentally dumped in more reactants than you
realized).
What is the theoretical yield for 3Xred
3Xox + Ared 3Xred + Aox
if you react 60 grams of Xox with 63 grams of Ared given that the molecular weight of
Xox is 2 amu, Ared is 7 amu, and Xred is 10 amu?
First, find who's the limiting reagent.
Using the method described above in the limiting reactant section, we find out
that Ared is the limiting reactant.
Next, take the amount in mols of the limiting reactant (9 mols according the the
above calculation) and do the stoichiometry to get to how many mols of 3Xred
this will yield.
9 mols of Ared * 3 mols of Xred per 1 mol of Ared = 27 mols.
Lastly, convert mols to grams: 27 mols * 10 g/mol = 270 g
The theoretical yield for the above reaction is 270 g of Xred
Say you did an actual experiment of the above reaction and you managed to obtain
243 g Xred, then the experimental yield is 243 g.
Percent yield = experimental yield / theoretical yield x 100
For the above experiment, the percent yield would be 243 / 270 x 100 = 90 %

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Thermodynamics and Thermochemistry

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Energy changes in chemical reactionsthermochemistry

Thermodynamic system, state function
A thermodynamic system is just a fancy name for the system that
you are studying.
Isolated system: no exchange of heat, work, or matter with
the surroundings.
Closed system: exchange of heat and work, but not matter
with the surroundings.
Open system: exchange of heat, work and matter with the
surroundings.
A state function is path-independent and depends only on the
initial and final states.
State functions include: H (enthalpy), S (entropy), G (free
energy change), U (internal energy change).
State function is also called state quantity, or function of state.
Conservation of energy
The total energy of an isolated system remains constant.
The total energy of a closed or open system plus the total energy
of its surroundings is constant.
Total energy is neither gained nor lost, it is merely transferred
between the system and its surroundings.
Endothermic/exothermic reactions
Endothermic = energy is taken up by the reaction in the form of
heat. H is positive.
Exothermic = energy is released by the reaction in the form of
heat. H is negative.
enthalpy H and standard heats of reaction and formation
enthalpy or H is the heat content of a reaction. Mnemonic: H
stands for heat.
H is the change in the heat content of a reaction. + means
heat is taken up, - means heat is released.
Standard heat of reaction, Hrxn, is the change in heat
content for any reaction.
Standard heat of formation, Hf, is the change in heat

content a formation reaction.

A formation reaction is where a compound or molecule in
its standard state is formed from its elemental components in
their standard states. The standard state is where things are
in their natural, lowest energy, state. For example, oxygen is
O2 (diatomic gas) and carbon is C (solid graphite).
The unit for enthalpy is in energy (J), or it can be expressed
as energy per mol (J/mol).
Hess' law of heat summation
Hrxn = (Hf) = sum of Hf (products) - sum of Hf
(reactants)
Bond dissociation energy as related to heats of formation
Bond dissociation is the energy required to break bonds.
Hrxn = Bond dissociation energy of all the bonds in reactants bond dissociation energy of all the bonds in products
Hrxn = Enthalpy of formation of all the bonds in products Enthalpy of formation of all the bonds in reactants.
Bond dissociation energy is positive because energy input is
required to break bonds.
The enthalpy of formation of bonds is negative because energy is
released when bonds form.
Measurement of heat changes (calorimetry), heat capacity, specific heat
(specific heat of water = 4.184 J/gk)
Heat capacity = the amount of heat required to raise the
temperature of something by 1 C.
Molar heat capacity = heat capacity per mol = J / molC
Specific heat (capacity) = heat capacity per mass = J / gC
Celsius can be replaced by Kelvin here because a change in
1 C is the same as a change in 1 K.
It takes 4.2 J of heat energy to raise the temperature of 1 gram of
water by 1 C.
Some useful conversion factors:
1 calorie = 4.2 J; 1 Calorie (with capital C) = 1000 calorie =
4200 J.
For water, 1 gram = 1 cubic centimeter = 1 mL
Entropy as a measure of "disorder"; relative entropy for gas, liquid, and
crystal states
Entropy = measure of disorder = energy / temperature = J / K (it
can also be expressed as molar entropy in J / molK)
Entropy of gas > liquid > crystal states.
At room temperature, the gas molecules are flying around, but the
table in front of you is just sitting there. So, gases have more
disorder.
Reactions that produces more mols of gas have a greater increase
in entropy.
Free energy G
Free energy is the energy available that can be converted to do
work.
G = H - TS

T is temperature in Kelvin.
Spontaneous reactions and standard free energy change
Spontaneous reactions are reactions that can occur all by itself.
Spontaneous reactions have negative G.
Do not assume that an exothermic reaction is spontaneous,
because a large, negative S can cause it to become
nonspontaneous.
Do not assume that an endothermic reaction is nonspontaneous,
because a large, positive S can make it spontaneous.
Do not assume that spontaneous reactions will occur quickly,
because it may take a million years for it to happen, depending on
its kinetics.

Thermodynamics
Zeroth law (concept of temperature)
0th law of thermodynamics basically says that heat flows from hot
objects to cold objects to achieve thermal equilibrium.
Mathematically, if TA = TB, and TB = TC, then TA = TC. Where T
is temperature.
First law (E = q + w, conservation of energy)
1st law of thermodynamics is based on the principle of
conservation of energy, and it basically says that the change in
total internal energy of a system is equal to the contributions from
heat and work.
E is the same thing as U, which is the change in internal
energy.
Q is the contribution from heat
Q is positive when heat is absorbed into the system (ie.
heating it).
Q is negative when heat leaks out of the system (ie. cooling
it).
W is the contribution from work.
W is positive when work is done on the system (ie.
compression).
W is negative when work is done by the system (ie.
expansion).
Equivalence of mechanical, chemical, electrical and thermal energy units
If it's energy, it's Joules. It doesn't matter if it's potential energy,
kinetic energy, or any energy - as long as it's energy, it has the unit
Joules.
Energy is equivalent even if they are in different forms. For
example, 1 Joule of mechanical energy can be converted into 1
Joule of electrical energy (ignoring heat loss) - no more, no less.
Second law: concept of entropy
The 2nd law states that the things like to be in a state of higher
entropy and disorder.
An isolated system will increase in entropy over time.
An open system can decrease in entropy, but only at the expense
of a greater increase in entropy of its surroundings.

The universe as a whole is increasing in entropy.

S q / T
q is the heat transferred.
T is the temperature in Kelvin.
For reversible processes S = q / T.
For irreversible processes S > q / T.
Real processes that occur in the world are never reversible,
so entropy change is always greater than the heat transfer
over temperature.
Because of the irreversibility nature of real processes, as
long as anything occurs, the entropy of the universe
increases.
Temperature scales, conversion
K C F
Absolute zero
0 -273 -460
Freezing point of water / melting point of ice 273 0
32
Room temperature
298 25 77
Body temperature
310 37 99
Boiling point of water / condensation of steam 373 100 212
K = C + 273
F = C x 1.8 + 32
Heat transfer: conduction, convection, radiation
Conduction: heat transfer by direct contact. Requires things to
touch.
Convection: heat transfer by flowing current. Need the physical
flow of matter.
Radiation: heat transfer by electromagnetic radiation (commonly
in the infra-red frequency range). Does not need the physical flow
of matter, can occur through a vacuum.
Heat of fusion, heat of vaporization
Also called latent heat of fusion, enthalpy of fusion and latent heat
of vaporization, enthalpy of vaporization.
Heat of fusion = Hfus = the energy input needed to melt
something from the solid to the liquid at constant temperature.
Heat of vaporization = Hvap = the energy input needed to
vaporize something from the liquid to the gas at constant
temperature.
Latent heats can be expressed as molar values such as J / mol.
The energy it takes to melt a solid is Hfus x #mols of that solid.
The energy it takes to vaporize a liquid is Hvap x #mols of that
liquid.
Latent heats can also be expressed as J / mass, where energy can
be obtained by multiplying the latent heats by the mass of the
substance.
Energy is released when either a gas condenses into a liquid, or
when a liquid freezes into a solid. The energy released is the same
as the energy of their reverse processes (see formula above).

PV diagrams depict thermodynamic processes by plotting pressure

against volume.
Adiabatic process: no heat exchange, q = 0. E = W
Isothermal process: no change in temperature T = 0.
Isobaric process: pressure is constant, W = PV.
Isovolumetric (isochoric) process: volume is constant, W = 0. E
=q
Calorimetry

q = mcT
q is heat absorbed / heat input, m is mass, c is specific heat, and
T is change in temperature.
This formula only works if no phase change is involved.
Different phases have different specific heats, and on top of that, a
phase change requires extra energy such as heat of fusion and heat
of vaporization, which is why the above formula does not work
across different phases.
To work problems that involve a phase change, use the calorimetry
equation individually for the different phases, then take into
account of the heat of fusion or vaporization.
For example, how much energy does it take to heat ice from -20
C to water at 37 C. There's 3 components to this question:
For the ice phase from -20 C to 0 C, use q = mciceT,
where T is 20.
For the phase transition, use heat of fusion: q = Hfus x

#mols of ice/water, where Hfus is in energy per mol. (note:

if the heat of fusion is given in energy per mass, then you
should multiply it by the mass to get energy)
For the water phase from 0 C to 37 C, use q = mcwaterT,
where T is 37.

Old topics
The topics below are outdated. They have been either modified or replaced by
the most recent aamc publication.
Measurement of heat changes (calorimetry); heat capacity; specific heat
(specific heat of water = 1 cal per degrees Celsius)
Heat capacity = the amount of heat required to raise the
temperature of something by 1 C.
Molar heat capacity = heat capacity per mol = J / molC
Specific heat (capacity) = heat capacity per mass = J / gC
Celsius can be replaced by Kelvin here because a change in
1 C is the same as a change in 1 K.
It takes 1 cal, or 4.2 J, of heat energy to raise the temperature of 1
gram of water by 1 C.
1 calorie = 4.2 J; 1 Calorie (with capital C) = 1000 calorie = 4200
J.
For water, 1 gram = 1 cubic centimeter = 1 mL
First law: E = Q - W (conservation of energy)
1st law of thermodynamics is based on the principle of
conservation of energy, and it basically says that the change in
total internal energy of a system is equal to the energy absorbed as
heat minus the energy lost from doing work.
E = Q - W
E is the same thing as U, which is change in internal energy.
Q is the heat absorbed into the system.
W is the work done by the system.
An alternative expression for the first law is E = Q + W, where
work is either positive if done on the system, or negative if done
by the system (this is the classical expression of E = Q - W).
Expansion = work done by the system -> E = Q - W
Compression = work done on the system -> E = Q + W
Specific heat, specific heat of water (1 cal / gC)
1 cal / gC = 4.2 J / gC = 0.001 Cal / gC = 4200 J / kgC = 4.2 kJ /
kgC

Rate Processes in Chemical Reactions - Kinetics and

Equilibrium
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Reaction rates
The reaction rate is defined as the rate of change in the concentration of
reactants or products. ie. how fast a reactant gets used up, and how fast a
product gets produced.
Rate = -Reactant/Time = how fast a reactant disappears.
Rate = Product/Time = how fast a product forms.
The unit for rate is molarity per second, or M/s.

Dependence of reaction rate upon concentration of

reactants; rate law
The rate law is the equation that describes the rate = the product of reactants
raised to some exponents.
aA + bB cC + dD
If the above reaction is single-step, then rate = k[A]a[B]b
If the above reaction is the rate-determining step of a multi-step
reaction, then the rate of the multi-step reaction = k[A]a[B]b
If the above reaction is a multi-step reaction, then rate = k[A]x[B]y,
where x and y are unknowns that correspond to the rate-determining
step.
To determine the rate law, you refer to a table of rates vs reactant
concentrations.
[A] (M)
1
2
1
1

[B] (M) [C] (M) rate (M/s)

1
1
1
1
1
4
2
1
2
1
2
1

r = k[A]x[B]y[C]z
From this table, a 2x increase in [A] corresponds to a 4x increase in the
rate. 2x = 4, so x = 2.
A 2x increase in [B] corresponds to a 2x increase in the rate. 2y = 2, so

A 2x increase in [B] corresponds to a 2x increase in the rate. 2y = 2, so

y = 1.
A 2x increase in [C] corresponds to 1x (no change) in rate. 2z = 1, so z
= 0.
r = k[A]2[B]1[C]0
r = k[A]2[B]
rate constant
The k in the rate law is the rate constant.
The rate constant is an empirically determined value that changes with
different reactions and reaction conditions.
reaction order
Reaction order = sum of all exponents of the concentration variables in
the rate law.
Reaction order in A = the exponent of [A]

Unimolecular
Bimolecular

Reaction
Order
1
2

Termolecular

r = k[A]3, r = k[A]2[B], r = k[A][B]

[C]

Zero order
reaction

r=k

Reaction Type

Rate Law(s)
r = k[A]
r = k[A]2, r = k[A][B]

Rate determining step

The slowest step of a multi-step reaction is the rate determining step.
The rate of the whole reaction = the rate of the rate determining step.
The rate law corresponds to the components of the rate determining step.

Dependence of reaction rate on temperature

Activation energy
Activated complex or transition state
Activated complex = what's present at the transition state.
In the transition state, bonds that are going to form are just
beginning to form, and bonds that are going to break are just
beginning to break.
The transition state is the peak of the energy profile.
The transition state can go either way, back to the reactants, or
forward to form the products.
You can't isolate the transition state. Don't confuse the transition
state with a reaction intermediate, which is one that you can
isolate.
Interpretation of energy profiles showing energies of reactants and
products, activation energy, H for the reaction

The activation energy is the energy it takes to push the reactants

up to the transition state.
H is the difference between the reactant H and the product H
(net change in H for the reaction).
H is heat of enthalpy.
Exothermic reaction = negative H
Endothermic reaction = positive H
Arrhenius equation
Ea

k = Ae- /RT
k is rate constant, Ea is activation energy, T is temperature (in
Kelvins), R is universal gas constant, A is a constant.
What this equation tells us: Low Ea, High T large k faster
reaction.

When activation energy approaches zero, the reaction proceeds as fast

as the molecules can move and collide.
When temperature approaches absolute zero, reaction rate approaches
zero because molecular motion approaches zero.

Kinetic control versus thermodynamic control of a

reaction
A reaction can have 2 possible products: kinetic vs thermodynamic product.
Kinetic product = lower activation energy, formed preferentially at
lower temperature.
Thermodynamic product = lower (more favorable/negative) G,
formed preferentially at higher temperature.

Thermodynamics tells you whether a reaction will occur. In other words,

whether it is spontaneous or not.
A reaction will occur if G is negative.
G = H - TS
Factors favoring a reaction
Factors disfavoring a reaction
Being exothermic (-H)
Being endothermic (+H)
Increase in entropy (positive S) Decrease in entropy (negative S)
Temperature is a double-edged sword. High temperatures amplify the
effect of the S term, whether that is favoring the reaction (+S) or

effect of the S term, whether that is favoring the reaction (+S) or

disfavoring the reaction (-S)
Kinetics tells you how fast a reaction will occur.
A reaction will occur faster if it has a lower activation energy.

Catalysts; the special case of enzyme catalysis

Catalysts speed up a reaction without getting itself used up.
Enzymes are biological catalysts.
Catalysts/enzymes act by lowering the activation energy, which speeds up
both the forward and the reverse reaction.
Catalysts/enzymes alter kinetics, not thermodynamics.
Catalysts/enzymes help a system to achieve its equilibrium faster, but does
not alter the position of the equilibrium.
Catalysts/enzymes increase k (rate constant, kinetics), but does not alter Keq
(equilibrium).

Equilibrium in reversible chemical reactions

Law of Mass Action
The Law of Mass Action is the basis for the equilibrium constant.
What the Law of Mass Action says is basically, the rate of a reaction
depends only on the concentration of the pertinent substances
participating in the reaction.
Using the law of mass action, you can derive the equilibrium constant
by setting the forward reaction rate = reverse reaction rate, which is
what happens at equilibrium.
For the single-step reaction: aA + bB <--> cC + dD
rforward = rreverse
kforward[A]a[B]b = kreverse[C]c[D]d
kforward/
kreverse
c

c
d
= [C] [D] /[A]a[B]b

Keq = [C] [D] /[A]a[B]b

This holds true for single and multi-step reactions, the MCAT
will not ask you to prove why this is so.
the equilibrium constant
There are 2 ways of getting Keq
c

From an equation, Keq = [C] [D] /[A]a[B]b

From thermodynamics, G = -RT ln (Keq)
Derivation: G = 0 at equilibrium.
G = G + RT ln Q
0 = G + RT ln Qat equilibrium
G = -RT ln Qat equilibrium
At equilibrium:
G = 0
rforward = rbackward
Q = Keq
Keq is a ratio of kforward over kbackward
If Keq is much greater than 1 (For example if Keq = 103), then
the position of equilibrium is to the right; more products are

the position of equilibrium is to the right; more products are

present at equilibrium.
If Keq = 1, then the position of equilibrium is in the center, the
amount of products is roughly equal to the amount of reactants
at equilibrium.
If Keq is much smaller than 1 (For example if Keq = 10-3), then
the position of equilibrium is to the left; more reactants are
present at equilibrium.
The reaction quotient, Q, is the same as Keq except Q can be used for
any point in the reaction, not just at the equilibrium.
If Q < Keq, then the reaction is at a point where it is still moving
to the right in order to reach equilibrium.
If Q = Keq, the reaction is at equilibrium.
If Q > Keq, then the reaction is too far right, and is moving back
left in order to reach equilibrium.
The reaction naturally seeks to reach its equilibrium
application of LeChatelier's principle
LeChatelier's principle: if you knock a system off its equilibrium, it
will readjust itself to reachieve equilibrium.
A reaction at equilibrium doesn't move forward or backward, but the
application of LeChatlier's principle means that you can disrupt a
reaction at equilibrium so that it will proceed forward or backward in
order to restore the equilibrium.

Reaction at What will induce the reaction to move

equilibrium forward

What will
induce the
reaction to
move
backward

A (aq) + B
Remove A
(aq) <--> C
Add A or B. Remove C or D.
(aq) + D
C or D.
(aq)
Add B. Remove D. Adding or removing
A (s) + B solids or liquids to a reaction at equilibrium
Remove B.
(aq) <--> C doesn't do anything that will knock the
(l) + D (aq) system off its equilibrium. So, altering A and
C won't make a difference.
Remove B.
A (s) + B
Add B. Remove D. Remove (decrease)
(aq) <--> C
pressure.
(l) + D (g)
(increase)
pressure.
A (s) + B Add B. Remove D. Since both side of the
balanced equation contains the same mols of Remove B.
(g) <--> C
gas products, modifying pressure is of no
(l) + D (g)
use.
Remove B.
A (s) + B
(aq) <--> C Add B. Remove D. Removing heat by
(l) + D (aq) cooling the reaction.
by heating

H < 0

by heating
the
reaction.

Relationship of the equilibrium constant and

standard free energy change
G = G + RT ln Q
Set G = 0 at equilibrium.
Q becomes Keq at equilibrium.
0 = G + RT ln (Keq)
G = -RT ln (Keq)

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Ions in solution
Anion, cation (common names, formulas and charges for familiar ions;
e.g., NH4+, ammonium; PO43-, phosphate; SO42-, sulfate)
Common name
Formula
Anion
Hydroxide

OH-

Chloride

Cl-

Hypochlorite

ClO-

Chlorite

ClO2-

Chlorate

ClO3-

Perchlorate

ClO4-

Carbonate

CO32-

SO42-

Hydrogen Sulfate (Bisulfate)

HSO4-

Sulfite

SO32-

Thiosulfate

S2O32-

Nitrate

NO3-

Nitrite

NO2-

Phosphate

PO43-

Hydrogen Phosphate

HPO42-

Dihydrogen Phosphate

H2PO4-

Phosphite

PO33-

Cyanide

CN-

Thiocyanate

SCN-

Peroxide

O22-

Oxalate

C2O42-

Acetate

C2H3O2-

Chromate

CrO42-

Dichromate

Cr2O72-

Permanganate

MnO4-

Cation
Hydronium

H3O+

Ammonium

NH4+

Metal
Hydration, the hydronium ion

Mn+

Another name for hydration is solvation.

Hydration is where water forms a shell around ions in solution.
The oxygen atom on water is partially negative, so it surrounds
cations.
The hydrogen atoms on water is partially positive, so they
surround anions.
Hydronium ion = H3O+
H+ never exist as a proton in water, it always exists as the
hydronium ion.

Solubility
Units of concentration (e.g., molarity)
Molarity = M = mol solute/L solution
Molality = m = mol solute/kg solvent
Normality = N = Molarity of the species that matter.
1 M HCl = 1 N HCl
1 M H2SO4 = 2 N H2SO4
1 M H3PO4 = 3 N H3PO4

x % = x g / 100 g = x g / 100 mL
x ppm = x parts per million = x mg / kg = x mg / L
Solubility product constant, the equilibrium expression
Solubility product constant = Ksp
AgCl (s) Ag+ (aq) + Cl- (aq)
Ksp for AgCl = [Ag+][Cl-]
Ag2SO4 (s) 2Ag+ (aq) + SO42- (aq)
Ksp for Ag2SO4 = [Ag+]2[SO42-]
Ksp values are found in a table:
Ksp for AgCl = 1.8 x 10-10
Ksp for Ag2SO4 = 1.2 x 10-5
Ksp is simply Keq for dissolutions.
The higher the Ksp, the more the reaction products dominate in a
saturated solution (at equilibrium).
What is the solubility of MX2 if given Ksp?
1. MX2 M2+ + 2X2. Ksp = [M2+][X-]2
3. Ksp = [M2+][2M2+]2 (because for every M2+, there's two times as
much X-)
4. Ksp = 4[M2+]3
5. Solve for [M2+]. Solubility is the same thing as [M2+] because you
used Q = Ksp for a saturated solution.
6. If you solved for [X-] instead, divide your results by 2.
7. If you were given solubility and asked to solve Ksp, then know that
solubility = [M2+] = [X-]/2
Common-ion effect, its use in laboratory separations
The common-ion effect is simply Le Chatelier's principle applied to Ksp
reactions.
AgCl (s) Ag+ (aq) + Cl- (aq)
The common-ion effect says that if you add Cl- to the solution above,
then less AgCl would dissolve.
For example, if you add NaCl to a saturated solution of AgCl, then some
AgCl will crash out of solution.
Another example: more AgCl can dissolve in pure water than in water
containing Cl- ions.
In laboratory separations, you can use the common ion effect to
selectively crashing out one component in a mixture.
For example, if you want to separate AgCl from a mixture of AgCl
and Ag2SO4, then you can do so by adding NaCl. This will
selectively crash out AgCl by the common ion effect (Cl- being the

common ion).
Complex ion formation
Metal+ + Lewis base: Complex ion
M+ + L M-Ln+
The Lewis base can be charged or uncharged.
The Keq for this reaction is called Kf, or the formation constant.
Complex ions and solubility
The "complex ion effect" is the opposite of the common ion effect.
AgCl (s) Ag+ (aq) + Cl- (aq); M+ + Cl- M-Cln complex ion.
When complex ion forms, the Cl- ion is taken out, so more of the AgCl
will dissolve.
Alternatively: AgCl (s) Ag+ (aq) + Cl- (aq); NH3 + Ag+ Ag(NH3)n complex ion.
Here, the complex ion formation takes out Ag+, again causing more
AgCl to dissolve.
Solubility and pH
Acids are more soluble in bases.
HA H+ + APutting the above in a base will take out the H+, thus, more HA
will dissolve according to Le Chatelier's principle.
Bases are more soluble in acids.
B + H+ BH+
Putting the above in an acid will add more H+, and thus, drive
more B to dissolve according to Le Chatelier's principle.

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Acid / base equilibria

Bronsted definition of acid, base
H-Acid + Base- Acid- + H-Base.
From left to right:
Acid: proton donor.
Base: proton acceptor.
Conjugate base: acid after losing its proton.
Conjugate acid: base after gaining its proton.
Ionization of water
Kw, its approximate value (Kw = [H+][OH-] = 1*10^-14 at 25C)
H2O H+ + OHAt standard conditions, pure water dissociates to achieve
[H+] = 10-7 M and [OH-] = 10-7 M.
Kw = [H+] x [OH-] = 10-7 x 10-7 = 10-14
definition of pH; pH of pure water
pH = -log[H+]
For pure water, pH = -log[10-7] = 7.
Acidic: pH lower than 7.
Neutral: pH = 7.
Basic: pH higher than 7.
pOH = -log[OH-].
pH + pOH = 14.
Conjugate acids and bases (e.g., amino acids)
Acid

Base

H2O

H2O

OH-

H3O+

R-COO-

H3O+

R-COOH H2O
H2O

R-NH2 OH-

R-NH3+

More acidic +H3N-CH2-COOH +H3N-CH2-COO- H2NCH2-COO- more basic

Strong acids and bases (common examples, e.g., nitric, sulfuric)

Strong acid

Formula

Perchloric acid

HClO4

Hydroiodic acid HI
Hydrobromic acid HBr
H2SO4
Sulfuric acid
Hydrochloric acid HCl
HNO3
Nitric acid
Hydronium ion

H3O+ or H+

Strong acids completely dissociate in solution.

Complete dissociation occurs because the conjugate base anion is
highly stable.
Strong bases
Formula
Lithium hydroxide LiOH
Sodium hydroxide NaOH
Potassium hydroxide KOH
Rubidium hydroxide RbOH
Cesium hydroxide CsOH
Calcium Hydroxide Ca(OH)2
Strontium hydroxide Sr(OH)2
Barium hydroxide Ba(OH)2
Strong bases completely dissociate in solution.
Complete dissociation occurs because the conjugate acid cation is
highly stable.
Weak acids and bases (common examples, e.g. acetic, benzoic)
Weak acid
Formic acid
Acetic acid
Hydrofluoric acid
Hydrocyanic acid
Hydrogen sulfide

Formula
HCOOH
CH3COOH
HF
HCN
H 2S

H 2O
Water
Weak acids partially dissociate in solution.
Partial dissociation occurs because the conjugate base is fairly
stable.
Weak base
Ammonia

Formula
NH3

Amine

NR3

Pyridine

C5H5N

Ammonium hydroxide NH4OH

H2O
Water
Weak bases partially dissociate in solution.
Partial dissociation occurs because the conjugate acid is fairly
stable.
dissociation of weak acids and bases with or without added salt
CH3COOH will dissociate less in a solution containing
CH3COONa salt.
NH4OH will dissociate less in a solution containing NH4Cl
salt.
This is due to Le Chatelier's principle: the hydrolysis of salts
of weak acids will produce the their conjugate bases, which
reduces dissociation. Likewise, hydrolysis of salts of weak
bases will produce conjugate acids.
hydrolysis of salts of weak acids or bases
Salt of weak acid:
CH3COONa CH3COO- + Na+
CH3COO- + H2O CH3COOH + OHSalt of weak base:
NH4Cl NH4+ + ClNH4+ + H2O NH3 + H3O+
calculation of pH of solutions of salts of weak acids or bases
Salt of weak acid:
Let's say a solution contains M molar of CH3COONa.
CH3COO- + H2O CH3COOH + OHAs M molar of CH3COO- start to abstract protons from the
solvent:
[CH3COO-] = M - x
[CH3COOH] = x
[OH-] = x
Kb = Kw/Ka = [CH3COOH][OH-] / [CH3COO-] = x2/(M - x)
Because x is very small, Kw/Ka = x2/M solve for x.
pOH = -log[OH-] = -log(x)
pH = 14 - pOH.
Salt of weak base:
Let's say a solution contains M molar of NH4Cl.
NH4+ NH3 + H+.
As M molar of NH4+ dissociates:
[NH4+] = M - x
[NH3] = x
[H+] = x

Ka = Kw/Kb = [NH3][H+] / [NH4+] = x2/(M - x)

Because x is very small, Kw/Kb = x2/M solve for x.
pH = -log[H+] = -log(x).
Equilibrium constants Ka and Kb: pKa, pKb
H-Acid H+ + Acid-

note: water is not included in the formula because it is not a solute.

Ka x Kb = Kw = 10-14
pKa = -log Ka
pKb = -log Kb
pKa + pKb = 14
Buffers
definition and concepts (common buffer systems)
Buffers = Solutions that resist changes in pH.
Salts of weak acids and bases form buffer systems.
A buffer system consists of an equilibrium between an
acidic species and a basic species. Note the "equilibrium",
you can't just dump HCl and NaOH together and expect
buffering, because neutralization will occur and the acidic
species and the basic species won't be at an equilibrium.
The concept is that acidic species of the buffer system will
donate protons to resist increases in pH, while the basic
species of the buffer system will accept protons to resist
decreases in pH.
Buffer systems formed by weak acids have maximum
buffering capacity at the pH = pKa of the acid.
When [acid] = [conjugate base], the system is buffered at pH
= pKa of the acid.
Buffer systems formed by weak bases have maximum
buffering capacity at the pH = 14 - pKb of the base.
When [base] = [conjugate acid], the system is buffered at pH
= 14 - pKb of the base.
influence on titration curves
Buffers make the titration curve "flat" at the region where
buffering occurs. On a titration curve, this is the point of
inflection.
The point of inflection is at pH = pKa (or 14 - pKb) of the
buffer.
The area around the point of inflection is the region where
the solution has buffering capacity. The pH of this buffering
region is typically pKa +/- 1 (or 14 - pKb +/- 1).

Titration
Indicators
H-In H+ + InKa = [H+][In-] / [H-In]
Indicators behave just like weak acids/bases.
The indicator is present is such a small amount that it doesn't
affect the solution's pH.
When the solution has a low pH (high [H+]), the indicator is
mostly in the H-In form, which is of one color.
When the solution has a high pH (low [H+]), the indicator is
mostly in the In- form, which is of another color.
Neutralization: Acid + Base = Salt + Water.
Interpretation of titration curves

At the point of inflection (buffer arrow), the [acid] =

[conjugate base] or [base] = [conjugate acid], pH = pKa, and
[titrant] = 1/2 [weak acid/base]
The buffer region has pH values of pKa +/- 1.

Polyprotic acids have multiple pKa, points of inflection, and

equivalence points.
Like monoprotic acids, each point of inflection corresponds
to the pKa for the acidic species.
At each pKa, [acidic species] = [conjugate base of the acidic
species].
For H2CO3:
pKa1: [H2CO3] = [HCO3-]
Equivalence point 1: almost everything is HCO3pKa2: [HCO3-] = [CO32-]
Equivalence point 2: almost everything is CO32Redox titration
While Bronsted acid-base titrations involve proton transfers, redox
titrations involve electron transfers.
Redox = reduction + oxidation = species A gains electrons +
species B lose electrons.
Reduction = reduction in charge = decreased oxidation number =
gaining electrons.
Oxidation = increase in charge = increased oxidation number =
losing electrons.
5H2O2 + 2MnO4- + 6H+ 2Mn2+ + 5O2 + 8H2O
Normally oxygen has an oxidation state of -2, but in
peroxides, it is -1. The reactants here include a peroxide.
Oxygen, and anything else in its elemental state has an
oxidation number of 0. The product O2 is one such case.
Hydrogen is always +1 unless it is a hydride, in which case
it's negative 1. For this reaction, all hydrogens are +1.
Doing some math, we find that the reactant Mn has an

oxidation number of +7.

The half reactions (reactions that depict electron transfer
only) are as follows:
Reduction: Mn7+ + 5e- Mn2+
Oxidation: O- O0 + e-

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Electrolytic cell
electrolysis
Requires potential/voltage input. On the diagram, this is represented by a
battery in the circuit. In contrast, a galvanic cell has in its place either a
resistor, or a Voltmeter.
The potential/voltage input + the cell potential must be > 0 for the reactions
to occur.
For electrolytic cells, the cell potential is negative, so a potential input
greater than the magnitude of the cell potential must be present for
electrolysis to occur.
In contrast, galvanic/voltaic cells already have a positive cell potential. Thus,
no input is required for galvanic/voltaic cells.
In the diagram above, arrows are shown in red because the battery is forcing
the flow of electrons. Normally, the electrons would want to flow the other
way (or not flow at all).
anode, cathode
The following rules hold true for both electrolytic and galvanic/voltaic cells.
Anode is always the place where oxidation happens.
Cathode is always the place where reduction happens.
Mnemonic:
An Ox = ANode OXidation
Red Cat = REDuction CAThode
Anode shoots out electrons, Cathode takes in electrons.
electrolyte
Ions = electrolyte.
Electrolytes conduct electricity by the motion of ions.
Without electrolytes, there won't be a circuit because electricity won't be
able to travel.
Faraday's law relating amount of elements deposited (or gas liberated) at an
electrode to current
Current = coulombs of charge per second. I = q/t
Faraday's constant = coulombs of charge per mol of electron = total charge
over total mols of electrons. F = q/n.
q = It and q = nF, thus we get:
It = nF
Current x time = mols of e- x Faraday's constant.
Using this equation, you can solve for n, mols of electrons. Then using the
half equation stoichiometry, you can find out how many mols of element is
made for every e- transferred. For example, 1 mol of Cu is deposited for
every 2 mols of electrons for the following half reaction: Cu2+ + 2e- Cu.
electron flow; oxidation, and reduction at the electrodes
Electrons shoot out of the anode because oxidation occurs there to lose

Electrons shoot out of the anode because oxidation occurs there to lose
electrons. M M+ + e-.
Electrons travel into the cathode, where it crashes into the cations on the
surface of the cathode. This is because reduction occurs at the cathode to
receive electrons. M+ + e- M.
Mnemonic:
Oil Rig : Oxidation Is Losing e- Reduction Is Gaining e-.
Oxidation is an increase in charge, Reduction is a decrease in charge.

Galvanic or voltaic cell

half reactions
Oxidation half reaction describes the species that loses electrons (increases
in charge). For example, Cu Cu2+ + 2eReduction half reaction decribes the species that gains electrons (decreases
in charge). For example, 2Ag+ + 2e- 2Ag
reduction potentials; cell potential
You find reduction potentials in a table:
Reduction
Half
reactions
(V)
Chlorine has high electron affinity, it loves to
Cl2 +
gain electrons and being reduced. Thus, it has a
+1.359
high reduction potential. Similarly, species like
2e
oxygen, halogens, and nonreactive metals have
2Clpositive reduction potentials.
2H+ +
2e-
H2

0.000

Hydrogen is set to have a standard reduction

potential of zero

Sodium hates its electron, it gets rid of it to

obtain a full outer shell and be stable as a cation.
It is very hard to force electrons onto the stable
Na+ + e- -2.714
cation to reduce it. Thus, it has a very negative
Na
reduction potential. Similarly, species like
potassium and other reactive metals have
negative reduction potentials.
Reduction potential = potential of the reduction half reaction.
Oxidation potential = potential of the oxidation half reaction = reverse the
sign of the reduction potential.
Cell potential = Reduction potential + Oxidation potential.
For example, the cell potential for the galvanic cell shown in the diagram is:
Reduction potential table
Species Reduction Potential (V)
Ag(I) +0.799
Cu(II) +0.337
Reduction half reaction: 2Ag+ + 2e- 2Ag
Reduction potential = +0.799
Oxidation half reaction: Cu Cu2+ + 2e-

Oxidation half reaction: Cu Cu2+ + 2eOxidation potential = +0.337 x -1 = -0.337

Cell potential = 0.799 - 0.337 = 0.462 V
The cell potential for all galvanic/voltaic cells is positive, because the
voltaic cell generates potential.
Another example, the cell potential for the electrolytic cell shown in the
diagram is:
Reduction half reaction: Cu2+ + 2e- Cu
Reduction potential = +0.337
Oxidation half reaction: 2Ag 2Ag+ + 2eOxidation potential = +0.799 x -1
Cell potential = 0.337 - 0.799 = -0.462 V
The cell potential for all electrolytic cells is negative, because the
electrolytic cell requires potential input.
direction of electron flow

Electrons always flow from the Anode to the Cathode. Mnemonic: A to C in

alphabetical order. Or, think about AC power - the A comes first and stands
for anode)
Oxidation (at the anode) produces electrons (and cations), and shoots out the
electrons toward the cathode. The cathode receives those electrons and uses
them for reduction.
Naturally, the species with the highest oxidation potential (lowest reduction
potential) will be the anode, and the species with the highest reduction
potential will be the cathode.
In the diagram above, the Galvanic/Voltaic cell shows a natural flow
because Cu (higher oxidation potential/lower reduction potential) is
the anode, and Ag (higher reduction potential) is the cathode.
However, the electrolytic cell shows exactly the opposite. In order to
force the Cu to be the cathode and Ag to be the anode, a battery is
used to drive the reaction.
Electrons flow in wires and electrodes, while ions flow in the electrolyte
solution, thus creating a completed circuit.
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